Ask Yoast: Noindexing tags, categories and paginated content on a foodblog

We regularly receive questions about category pages and similar pages. It seems some of you are unsure of how to properly implement these. And sure, it’s good to think about this, as pages like category or tag pages can be thin content, if you do nothing to improve them. But you can also use these pages to your advantage!

It’s a good idea to give your category and tag pages some TLC, so there’s sufficient content on them. For product category pages, that means adding some text about that particular type of product, for example. So, what about food blogs? What should you do with your category and tag pages to help your recipes rank as best they can?

Analida Braeger emailed us her question on the subject:

Is it true that leaving tags, categories and paginated content open on a food blog hurts the ability of existing recipes to rank effectively? Should these be blocked with a ‘noindex, follow’ robots tag?

Watch the video or read the transcript further down the page for my answer!

Should you noindex tags and categories on food blogs?

“No, don’t noindex those pages. Category and tag pages are very important pages that you want crawled a lot. As soon as you start noindexing them, Google will crawl them less and less. So you shouldn’t do that.

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What you should do is optimize your category and tag pages for terms that are groups. So, if you have recipes, then you have groups of recipes too, and you should optimize those category and tag pages for those terms.

You should make sure that, for instance, for pasta recipes, your category page for that is good enough for people to land on. So, you should improve on those pages and make them better landing pages to land on from the search results and then they will get traffic for terms that are broader than the average recipe, and they’d be perfect pages. So, don’t noindex follow them, instead improve them. Good luck.”

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In the series Ask Yoast, we answer SEO questions from our readers. Have an SEO-related question? Maybe we can help you out! Send an email to

Note: please check our blog and knowledge base first, the answer to your question may already be out there! For urgent questions, for example about the Yoast SEO plugin not working properly, we’d like to refer you to our support page.

Read more: Using category and tag pages for SEO »

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10 Responses to Ask Yoast: Noindexing tags, categories and paginated content on a foodblog

  1. Graham
    Graham  • 5 months ago

    Great advice Joost! Just to add something to this, I normally manually set the canonical for the post and write an excerpt which is unique.
    That way a paginated post still has it’s parent set as the correct canonical and there is no duplicate content (or a smaller amount) on the category pages.


  2. Abhishek Roy
    Abhishek Roy  • 5 months ago

    Thanks for such a great content.
    you have such a really nice information here.

  3. Gopal Shaw
    Gopal Shaw  • 5 months ago

    Hi, Great Post. I really appreciate your blog post. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Margaret
    Margaret  • 5 months ago

    Thank you Its really helpful article and yoast SEO plugin is great thanks

  5. Akanksha Gautam
    Akanksha Gautam  • 5 months ago

    HI this article is very helpful for me and it has all information which i need, thank you so much for posting this information.

  6. Donald E. Buckle
    Donald E. Buckle  • 5 months ago

    yoast provide best seo service to my website thanks alot

  7. Jasica Jorge
    Jasica Jorge  • 5 months ago

    OMG, i was noindex those pages. i was thinking Category and tag have no importance, Its not yet late, hopefully.
    Thanks Team :)

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 5 months ago

      Just in time :-) You’re welcome!

  8. eyauuk
    eyauuk  • 5 months ago

    should categories use more than one word, like mid or long tail keywords? Should I put a space between the words or run them together?


    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 5 months ago

      Hi! You should definitely put spaces where they belong ;-) And you can use mid tail keywords for sure. Good luck!

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